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girlfriday's avatar

Whatup with Mac hardware?

Asked by girlfriday (206points) July 5th, 2007

Macs are more stable with OS X, right? that's all good, but what up with the hardware? i have had repeated problems with my MacPro. on a quick poll of friends, sounds like lots of laptops are failing, too. so, what's the deal? component manufacturers? Apple Care has been money well spent--today a tech is coming to my office to replace my logic board and an internal drive.

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10 Answers

mirza's avatar

i like to blame it on apple switching to intel chips - but thats just me. Personally i havent had any problems with my macbook but i do know a few people whose hard drive have crashed. But the same thing goes with almost all laptops. You cant even imagine how many students from our school had to get their laptops repaired and everyone gets a dell inspiron laptop

wingsoffire's avatar

I've noticed the same thing with a few friends of mine that use Macbook and Mac pro laptops. One of them suffered a hard drive crash and a mainboard failure. I also heard them complaining about the macbooks being too slow.

segdeha's avatar

It does seem like Apple hardware isn't as reliable as it once was (this coming from someone whose first Mac was an LC way back in 1991). I have never had serious problems, including with a recent purchase of a black MacBook back in February of this year.

girlfriday's avatar

yeah, this is the general impression i'm getting. aren't macs using intel chips and internal hard drives that are equivalent to pcs? (my pcs are totally stable, btw). i've heard macs are more sensitive to power fluctuations--why? what's going on behind the scenes?

bob's avatar

I have heard bad things about Apple hardware, but I assumed it was just anecdotal evidence. Maybe not. My Powerbook hasn't had any problems. Its stock hard drive is a Seagate. I don't think there's been documentation of any switch to lower-quality components.

But I'm sure there are reliability problems which have been introduced by the transition to Intel; case redesigns and new products (like the macbook) are always problematic until at least the first redesign. Without any knowledge of the particulars, I'd speculate that any current reliability problems are related to those particulars, rather than a shift to unreliable components or crappier computer-making in general.

samkusnetz's avatar

i find my macbook pro to be at least as reliable as any of my previous macs, and certainly more reliable than some. i've been using macs since 1990... my LC 2 bombed all the time, my power computer powermy wall street powerbook was pretty solid, my titanium was way too delicate, and my aluminum powerbook was great, but developed a battery issue.

girlfriday's avatar

Do you guys use a UPS? Does it make a difference? I'm thinking of getting a 1500V and seeing if that protects the Mac. Hoping for some good news from y'all on this front. I'm considering moving my professional video editing system to another platform...

samkusnetz's avatar

a UPS should have zero effect. all it will do is give your computer power if the electricity drops out. (also, sorry about the typos above... i meant to say my power computing powertower was reasonably stable)

girlfriday's avatar

hi guys, the tech came out on friday and replaced my logic board and one of my four 700GB internal drives. unfortunately, that didn't solve the problem of 2.0 USB peripherals not mounting--including my 1TB backup drive. on the phone with Apple support: they are sending out another logic board and a power supply to be installed on monday.

the tech said that he frequently will replace logic board after logic board in limping computers until he finds one that's stable. after 3 replacements, Apple sends a new machine (if you're under warranty or under Apple Care, that is). the logic board is a complex little number, and i can imagine a lot going wrong, but still, that kind of replacement doesn't strike me as cost effective.

in any case, he did tell me that in his experience, apple manufacturers have been subpar. he mentioned that Apple released a backup drive that was so faulty, that in the end, they had to pull it and re-brand it (they went with a new manufacturer). kind of comical, really. it's a backup drive, after all.

in addition to video, i do research and run processor-intense programs on PCs (Matlab, VBM). i so rarely have a problem with the system, it's not something i would ever even worry about. at all.

i do love Macs and their applications. i suppose that's why i have one and have fault-tolerance built into my backups, and why i have Apple Care, but i am still curious to know the real deal on Mac stability and longevity.

--does anyone know where to get hard stats on Mac stability and longevity?

sharl's avatar

I think you’ll find the failure rate on most computer hardware is pretty high. Someone from Google told me it was 10% a year on Hard Disk Drives and rising as the capacity rises (or at least the results of failure are more likely to involve data loss). I think Apple has a different problem to most of the industry as they temd to ship very few models in high numbers. I’d be surprised if, say, Sony ever shipped a single computer component in the kinds of numbers that Apple have for MacBooks. I’ve had Macs that have never failed (including recent ones – an original Mac mini just keeps going beautifully), and some that have repeat problems. I will say that Apple support, especially via the Apple Store, has been exceptional, with repairs under warranty taking ridiculously small amounts of time.

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